Today marks the tenth anniversary of Wicked the Musical''s Broadway debut!
Gregory Maguire's debut novel WICKED: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST itself is now 18 years old, having launched back in 1995.
Whether you love Wicked, hate Wicked, or have somehow never heard of Wicked, it is indisputable that today is a landmark occasion.
Wicked will always hold fond memories for me. I was lucky enough to see it with the original cast its first season. Before that day, I had never been to Broadway and seen a musical. I no longer remember whether I saw Aida or Wicked first that day (we saw both a matinee and an evening show), but it was still first.
At the time, there wasn't a lot of buzz around Wicked It was a musical based on a book I'd read and enjoyed. I was shocked and overjoyed about the "twist" that causes the show to deviate from the novel. I loved the music. I loved everything about the experience!
The following spring, WICKED got HUGE. Monster-Huge. Everyone sang it. Everyone knew it. You could no longer get discounted tickets. There was an uproar during the Tony Awards when Avenue Q "stole" (or "deserved," depending on perspective) the Best Musical Crown from Wicked. Everyone followed the careers of Kristin Chenoweth (Glinda the Good) and Idina Menzel (Elphaba the Wicked)...and many still do.
(I admit it...I still do! I'm really excited atm because Idina Menzel will be voicing/singing Elsa the Snow Queen in Disney's new upcoming animated blockbuster Frozen this season! And after buying Kelly Clarkson's first-ever Christmas album yesterday, I'm ready to break out the Christmas music...and that includes some Kristin Chenoweth goodness!)
It became overkill. Knowing many people studying theatre, I heard the songs too frequently. I started to dislike them. I started to groan when I heard the mention of WICKED. As I fell more in love with the theatre, I discovered better, stronger musicals.
Yet somehow, I still love Wicked because it was special. It was my first. This past year, I actually found my cast recording of the original cast while cleaning and popped it into a CD player. It was so nostalgic, like returning home after a too-long absence. Ah, yes, I know you. I loved you. I miss you!
Can I listen to it all the time? Certainly not! But as a rare treat from time to time? Absolutely!
Happy anniversary, Wicked. It's well-deserved! (And come December, happy ten-year anniversary to MY first time doing Broadway! I can't even believe it!)
Have you experienced the joy of a Wicked experience? What are your Wicked memories??